Review:The Greyhound, Beaconsfield
The Greyhound in Beaconsfield launched mere moments before Covid struck. Thankfully it's now open again, and my review of this superior pub can run.
You’ll find The Greyhound just off the main high street in Old Beaconsfield (ie the pretty part), a slick reimagining of what a local pub should and could be. A Grade II listed 17th century former coaching inn, it’s been sympathetically updated, buffed and sprinkled with interior designer fairy dust but without losing its personality.
Owners Daniel Crump and wife Margriet describe it as ‘a comfortable pub and restaurant serving modern British food’ but I think that’s being a bit modest. When I ate here pre-lockdown just as it opened, I was blown away by the attention to detail and ambition to do things differently.
I ate here for lunch so the vibe was relaxed, friendly and grown up though children are more than welcome and I’d have no problem bringing them along – the waiters were all charming. There was a large group of glamorous women who had rocked up in their SUVs and sports cars and were having a rowdy time (fun to watch!) but also some older couples and family parties. A real mix.
I absolutely loved the design of the place with its round booth banquets, extrovert wallpaper, and eclectic furnishings. The ground floor was designed for eating, but upstairs with its own bar, slouchy sofas and ‘Nana’s front room’ touches like an old piano, chintzy lighting and old fireplace wouldn’t look out of place at one of The Pig hotels and was designed to accommodate locals for a relaxed drink.
SCOFF & QUAFF
This is where The Greyhound really stand out. The owners have a combined pedigree of Michelin-starred Pétrus in Knightsbridge, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, Trinity in Clapham, and the Oxford Blue, Old Windsor – not a bad start! There’s clearly an intent on quality that starts with Crump’s three-piece suit and the natty staff uniforms and goes through to the presentation which feel more fine dining than pubbish.
The menu has been stripped back since Covid for obvious reasons but you can still eat with separate à la carte, lunch, Sunday lunch or tasting menus and much of what I ate is still available. Shall we have a romp through to give you a flavour of what’s on offer?
I started with Cornish Crab (fresh from Padstow) with Pickled Kohlrabi, Chive and Coastal Herbs. A bit of a departure for me as I can find crab a bit overwhelming but it was delicate and light, and worked really well with the kohlrabi and I LOVE its delivery, like opening a present.
The Highland Beef, braised and covered with a special Greyhound XO sauce, was exquisite, and was all the better for its simplicity. No need for gazillions of elements, the quality of the ingredients and a killer sauce carried it through.
Chocolate Mousse and Custard Ice-Cream sounded a bit school dinners, but was in fact delicious (A* and no grade U-turn from this exam board). And finally, because I am unable to say no to anything with salted caramel in it, I also ended up with an entirely piggy BBQ Pineapple with Chilli and Salted Caramel.
Margriet suggested the wines – I usually let the sommelier work the magic if I’m drinking by the glass, and she chose a 2011 Sauternes from Chateau Partarrieu for entrée, for beef a 2018 blend of Loureiro and Alvarinho from Vinho Verde in Portugal and a 2014 Bordeaux Blend from Keermont Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa for dessert.
OUT AND ABOUT
You’re bang in shopping territory in Beaconsfield – the High Street is particularly strong for interiors (Farrow & Ball; Halcyon Interiors; Hearnes Beaconsfield etc), plus there are a smattering of boutiques or zip across to Amersham for a more focused fashion offering of Chattertons, Fabric and Whistles. For families Bekonscot Model Village is 10 minutes drive – little kids will go wild for it – as is Chiltern Open Air Museum (perfect Covid conditions).
There’s a lovely circular walk between Beaconsfield and Seer Green if you want to stretch your legs, or you’re 15 minutes from the National Trusts as Cliveden near Marlow and Hughenden Manor in Wycombe.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
GOOD FOR: Foodies, anyone who appreciates attentive service and slick interior design. I’m a fan.
NOT FOR: Though I don’t doubt The Greyhound’s intention to offer a warm welcome to all, those after a pint of ale and packet of crisps might feel more comfortable in less ‘packaged’ surroundings. Toddlers will need more space to tantrum than the current garden.
The Greyhound, 33 Windsor End. Beaconsfield. Buckinghamshire, HP9 2JN. Tel: 01494 671315.